When Nordstrom unveiled its Midtown flagship store in October, it brought with it a bunch of new restaurants — from several collaborations with high-profile chefs to an edgy doughnut shop.
And Nordstrom is not alone. Saks opened an outpost of the popular Parisian haunt L’Avenue last year that’s had trendy diners trekking to the store ever since. Over at Hudson Yards, a place awash with restaurants, Neiman Marcus went ahead and created two of its own. And with the future of Barneys up in the air, fans of the Madison Avenue store’s dining destination, Freds, may have to find new haute haunts at Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman, both of which are about to open new restaurants of their own.
Dining options have become as essential to department stores as their shoe floors for creating experience, building brand loyalty and attracting new customers. And there’s no better time to try them than during the hectic holiday-shopping season, when you can take a break and refuel without ever leaving the store — and even stop at the beauty counter to spruce up en route! Check out these delicious new options for dining while shopping.
Nordstrom, 235 W 57th Street.
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Wolf Kitchen, King Crab Salad
Bistro Verde, Hamachi Tostada
The Shoe Bar inside Nordstrom.
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Jeannie’s, Roasted Oyster Mushrooms pie
Basement level restaurants at Nordstrom.
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The beloved and long-awaited emporium arrived in Midtown last month with Chloé, Givenchy, Prada and seven eateries! Wolf, a collaboration with Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, offers lots of small plates such as duck egg with wild mushrooms, oregano and Parmigiano-Reggiano ($17); pastas such as spaghetti with uni butter ($22); and entrees including Mishima Reserve ribeye cap ($42). Sip a Part Time Model (vodka, pomegranate, soda and lime; $17) and eat at the long stone bar, or a table where you can see a parade of pedestrians from the second-floor perch.
Seattle chef Tom Douglas collaborated on three lower-level restaurants: casual Jeannie’s next to the children and home departments, which focuses on thin crust pizza such as a fennel sausage pie ($18), as well as sandwiches known as “toasties’’ including an eggplant parmesan version ($15), along with gelato, wine and beer; Hani Pacific, a fanciful and colorful room with murals of sea creatures, and a menu that highlights small plates, such as hoisin duck and green papaya salad ($18), and larger meals such as a six-grain rice bowl with grilled lobster tail ($26); and a takeout doughnut-mochi hybrid shop called Oh Mochi!
Bistro Verde, an open room on the fifth floor with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bar and lounge seating, serves international fare from sake-marinated cod ($26) to skirt steak frites ($25.75). Nordstrom also has two separate cocktail lounges with the same menu — the lower-level Shoe Bar, where you can devour a cilantro lime chicken taco ($14) and sip a Billionaire with Maker’s Mark and absinthe ($17) while trying on your Blahniks, and the cushier Broadway Bar next to designer dresses, designed for a break, with couches and TVs. 225 W. 57th St.; 212-295-2000.
Best known for its bustling seventh-floor cafe, Forty Carrots, with its addictive frozen yogurt, soups and salads, the store is getting ready to launch an Asian restaurant and sushi bar called Daikanyama. In the meantime, family-friendly Flip on the lower level offers shoppers the joy of bespoke burgers ($13-$16): Choose your patty (veggie or bison), bread (including a Bavarian pretzel roll or naan) and toppings ($1.50-$2.50) such as truffle butter and jalapeno peppers. The sleek Studio 59, on the store’s second floor, has a marble bar and a perfect perch for watching in-store photo and video shoots while enjoying burrata and strawberries ($14), tuna tartare ($15) and other light bites, enhanced with such libations as Retail Therapy (Tito’s vodka, Aperol, lemon and sparkling rosé; $16). 1000 Third Ave.; 212-705-2000
Saks Fifth Avenue
The Philippe Starck-designed offshoot of Parisian celebrity haunt L’Avenue was an immediate hit with the Upper East Side and boldface crowds. Thai-French fare such as king crab lettuce ($40), miso salmon ($34) and spicy Thai beef ($41) is served in the stylish room with cushy booths and a staircase that leads from the ninth floor to the buzzy Le Chalet bar on eight, where Saks and the City (togarashi-infused tequila, agave, grapefruit soda, lime and Himalayan salt; $18) is the No. 1 drink of choice. Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, Colin Jost, Mariah Carey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Alexander Wang are among those who have visited. 611 Fifth Ave..; 212-753-4000
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All china, silver and glassware on the tables is for sale at the seventh-floor Zodiac Room, which is adorned with brushed gold, teak and tapestry to muffle sound and allow for audible conversation. Dinner is no longer served due to a demand for private evening events, but breakfast and lunch continue. For lunch, diners are offered free chicken consommé along with fresh popovers and strawberry butter from a cart before the meal begins. Lunchtime favorites include the Hudson salad (kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, beets, apricots and sunflower seeds with ginger miso dressing; $22) and lobster club with thick cut bacon and avocado ($36). While Zodiac closes at 5 p.m., Bar Stanley, with its leather and wood men’s club vibe serves until 8 p.m., offering Southwestern style small plates, such as fish tacos ($28) and shrimp ceviche ($24). Visitors can curl up in a big chair, watch the glorious sunset and sip a Mr. Stanley — the bar’s take on an old fashioned ($19). 20 Hudson Yards; 646-562-3500.
BG Restaurant, the seventh-floor, Tiffany blue-and-white room with sweeping views of Central Park, is an ideal spot for tea or a meal of Gotham salad with diced chicken breast, ham, gruyere, tomato, bacon, beets, hardboiled egg, greens and Dijon vinaigrette ($28), or a Croque Madame topped with a sunny side up egg ($26). There is also the pop-art themed Palette café on the lower beauty level, serving salads, sandwiches, coffee and cocktails. This winter, the men’s store at 745 Fifth Ave. will open the elegant 30-seat Goodman Bar, offering small bites from Michelin-starred chef Austin Johnson and drinks by Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson. 754 Fifth Ave.; 212-753-7300